Is getting “more traffic” your real goal?

Who is winning the race to get more traffic?

This 14-year-old kid, Fred. He’s gotten MILLIONS of views! 45 million at last count.

This is what happens when you try to simply be entertaining.

If traffic is your goal, here’s the formula. Do something really stupid that’ll make people laugh.

Me? I’ll stick with having a few thousand people passionate about learning more from innovative technologists and other leaders.

Why not get into the traffic race? Because I’d rather be in the race for a smart, focused audience. That’s where the real action is.

It also says volumes about why YouTube is losing millions of dollars every month. They can’t monetize this kid, and THAT should tell you how much real value there is in having a big audience.

Back to business: anytime I get a company who asks me about my traffic I’ll show them this blog post first and ask the question about why they haven’t sponsored this kid’s show already, since he has already won the traffic game.

104 thoughts on “Is getting “more traffic” your real goal?

  1. Let me play devil’s advocate – there have been highly successful mass market campaigns that have done a good job at marketing mass appeal products and services.

    If you have a niche product then of course you are better aligning it to your niche audience – your cost of doing business will be much lower and response rate much higher.

    If you have a mass appeal consumer good or service, then using mass market publicity like these videos is certainly worth the try – and given how much it is costing – likely very profitable.

    Jeff

  2. Let me play devil’s advocate – there have been highly successful mass market campaigns that have done a good job at marketing mass appeal products and services.

    If you have a niche product then of course you are better aligning it to your niche audience – your cost of doing business will be much lower and response rate much higher.

    If you have a mass appeal consumer good or service, then using mass market publicity like these videos is certainly worth the try – and given how much it is costing – likely very profitable.

    Jeff

  3. Think of traffic as a room fall of blank faces, all waiting for a moment of genius to come forward. If you don’t offer it, they will reject you and after awhile they will find another to stare and wait.

    Today you figured out something that most have known but rarely talk about. Fame is a shallow guage for acceptance amongst peers whom are preoccupied with their own fame to notice.

    Right now, I’ll be honest, I find you 70% noisey and 30% signal. The 30% signal are usually the random videos that you go into off the cuff, without some agenda.. That’s what will keep me staring at your videos for 20mins+, i don’t mind spending 180mins with Scoble TV provided that there is something worth viewing.

    I’m a viewer, but you make it tough at times to view. Then you have moments and all is forgiven? 14yr kid has 45million views, how many are repeat visitors.. and why..is more the curious metric there..

    Don’t be a news anchor, be a industry street reporter :)

    -
    Scott Barnes
    Rich Client Platform Manager
    Microsoft.

  4. Think of traffic as a room fall of blank faces, all waiting for a moment of genius to come forward. If you don’t offer it, they will reject you and after awhile they will find another to stare and wait.

    Today you figured out something that most have known but rarely talk about. Fame is a shallow guage for acceptance amongst peers whom are preoccupied with their own fame to notice.

    Right now, I’ll be honest, I find you 70% noisey and 30% signal. The 30% signal are usually the random videos that you go into off the cuff, without some agenda.. That’s what will keep me staring at your videos for 20mins+, i don’t mind spending 180mins with Scoble TV provided that there is something worth viewing.

    I’m a viewer, but you make it tough at times to view. Then you have moments and all is forgiven? 14yr kid has 45million views, how many are repeat visitors.. and why..is more the curious metric there..

    Don’t be a news anchor, be a industry street reporter :)

    -
    Scott Barnes
    Rich Client Platform Manager
    Microsoft.

  5. Bingo! Traffic was a numbers game back in 2000, although smart marketers always knew that website traffic is about getting people to your site who love what you are talking about and VISIT OFTEN.

    “Wham-Bam-Thank-you-Ma’am ain’t so great online either. Give me thousands of people who subsscribe or opt-in b/c they care over millions of one-hit wonders anyday.

    Just my .02

    Karen Miner Hurd
    http://www.MLMmaniac.com

  6. Bingo! Traffic was a numbers game back in 2000, although smart marketers always knew that website traffic is about getting people to your site who love what you are talking about and VISIT OFTEN.

    “Wham-Bam-Thank-you-Ma’am ain’t so great online either. Give me thousands of people who subsscribe or opt-in b/c they care over millions of one-hit wonders anyday.

    Just my .02

    Karen Miner Hurd
    http://www.MLMmaniac.com

  7. I watched this guy’s videos last week. I sat through two of them and my GF was asking me to mute that ridiculous noise. I don’t understand it. The top YouTube channels are all a bunch of kids doing dumbass stupid videos.

    So that’s my rant :)

  8. I watched this guy’s videos last week. I sat through two of them and my GF was asking me to mute that ridiculous noise. I don’t understand it. The top YouTube channels are all a bunch of kids doing dumbass stupid videos.

    So that’s my rant :)

  9. And what happens in 5 years time when Fred realises he is not going to be the next Jim Carey and turns up at Goldmans/PWC/etc looking for a “normal” job. Does this help or hinder his employment prospects!?

  10. And what happens in 5 years time when Fred realises he is not going to be the next Jim Carey and turns up at Goldmans/PWC/etc looking for a “normal” job. Does this help or hinder his employment prospects!?

  11. “The type of people that are commenting on Fred’s youtube videos.”?

    They’re called teenagers. And yes, you’re old now.

  12. “The type of people that are commenting on Fred’s youtube videos.”?

    They’re called teenagers. And yes, you’re old now.

  13. As mentioned above Fred is a partner with youtube as most of the top 100 most subscribed are. Youtube thus makes money of them buy showing CPM or PPC adsense ads. Now who knows if these pay the hosting bill but it’s an attempt.

    It seems that this is the future as they see it or at least part of the puzzle. I don’t know if it will pay the whole bill but as they move their non DMCA offending video posters to promoted status they have more ability to make money if it works out who knows.

    But if you are smart you have the ability to drive alot of traffic from youtube. and if can be ultra targeted. In that lies the great youtube secret.

  14. As mentioned above Fred is a partner with youtube as most of the top 100 most subscribed are. Youtube thus makes money of them buy showing CPM or PPC adsense ads. Now who knows if these pay the hosting bill but it’s an attempt.

    It seems that this is the future as they see it or at least part of the puzzle. I don’t know if it will pay the whole bill but as they move their non DMCA offending video posters to promoted status they have more ability to make money if it works out who knows.

    But if you are smart you have the ability to drive alot of traffic from youtube. and if can be ultra targeted. In that lies the great youtube secret.

  15. Fred…
    Strange, but the first thing that comes to my mind is/was the musicgroup Milli Vanilli.
    I think the same pretending-strategy created by clever marketingpeople without a real soul (:o)) that gave birth to Milli Vanilli (and maybe half of the worlds popular singers) is getting bigger everyday on the Internet.
    Just like Fred! :o)

  16. Fred…
    Strange, but the first thing that comes to my mind is/was the musicgroup Milli Vanilli.
    I think the same pretending-strategy created by clever marketingpeople without a real soul (:o)) that gave birth to Milli Vanilli (and maybe half of the worlds popular singers) is getting bigger everyday on the Internet.
    Just like Fred! :o)

  17. I do MLM and found the hard way, that traffic alone is no measure of quality leads.
    For that matter buying leads is even worse!

    Get your own leads for free.

    Great business building information is available and for FREE!
    I use it and have great success, the best part is I enjoy sharing with others
    and seeing them succeed is very up lifing.

    It cost nothing to give back and share!

    There are many people looking for a real team to work with and learn.

    LynnRothfuss
    lynnrothfuss@gmail.com
    lynnrothfuss.successin10steps.com
    http://www.youtube.com/lynnrothfuss

  18. I do MLM and found the hard way, that traffic alone is no measure of quality leads.
    For that matter buying leads is even worse!

    Get your own leads for free.

    Great business building information is available and for FREE!
    I use it and have great success, the best part is I enjoy sharing with others
    and seeing them succeed is very up lifing.

    It cost nothing to give back and share!

    There are many people looking for a real team to work with and learn.

    LynnRothfuss
    lynnrothfuss@gmail.com
    lynnrothfuss.successin10steps.com
    http://www.youtube.com/lynnrothfuss

  19. fred´s video made me really really sad
    is that supposed to be funny?

    i don´t see the point, i must be too old, or to snotty, or whatever

    keep on eating sh*t!
    …………. 45 million flies can´t all be wrong!!

    let´s keep on monetizing the “bread and circus”dudes!

    cheers

  20. fred´s video made me really really sad
    is that supposed to be funny?

    i don´t see the point, i must be too old, or to snotty, or whatever

    keep on eating sh*t!
    …………. 45 million flies can´t all be wrong!!

    let´s keep on monetizing the “bread and circus”dudes!

    cheers

  21. Novelty plays a big part in the popularity of stuff like this. The novelty is, anyone old enough to buy a computer has spent most of his/her life in a world where broadcast video was made by capital-P Professionals. If we expect professionalism, and we get some kid being a dork, the thing that makes us laugh isn’t the dorkiness–it’s the fact that it’s being broadcast!
    Thanks to YouTube, amateur-grade video is changing from a novelty to a norm. Once we get used to broadcast dorkiness, it won’t make us laugh anymore. After that, anyone who wants a big audience–or a small audience from a desirable demographic–will actually have to make a good video.

  22. Novelty plays a big part in the popularity of stuff like this. The novelty is, anyone old enough to buy a computer has spent most of his/her life in a world where broadcast video was made by capital-P Professionals. If we expect professionalism, and we get some kid being a dork, the thing that makes us laugh isn’t the dorkiness–it’s the fact that it’s being broadcast!
    Thanks to YouTube, amateur-grade video is changing from a novelty to a norm. Once we get used to broadcast dorkiness, it won’t make us laugh anymore. After that, anyone who wants a big audience–or a small audience from a desirable demographic–will actually have to make a good video.

  23. Pingback: butts in seats
  24. Huh, and to think I’ve been wasting all this time with site promotion and social networking when all I had to do was act like a complete moron.

  25. Huh, and to think I’ve been wasting all this time with site promotion and social networking when all I had to do was act like a complete moron.

  26. It’s not always the stupid gimmick stunts, as Limbaugh’s $38 million a year, until the sun goes supernova, attests.

  27. It’s not always the stupid gimmick stunts, as Limbaugh’s $38 million a year, until the sun goes supernova, attests.

  28. Actually, for a 14 year-old, “Fred” has made some pretty decent money.

    We interviewed him over at NewTeeVee:

    http://newteevee.com/2008/06/25/fred-speaks-to-ntv-squeaky-voice-not-included/

    Rather than waiting for YouTube to monetize his work, Fred got a manager and they monetized it on their own.

    Fred got a five figure deal with Zipit to do three “viral” vids. There were performance benchmarks bonuses built into the deal for 1 million, 1.5 million, etc. plays. He beat all of those benchmarks in a week.

    Fred’s launching his own URL this month where he’ll offer merchandise and further monetize the character. Plus, he’s had meetings with execs at Fox and Disney.

    He’s not simply entertaining, the kid’s got a plan, and it’s working out pretty well.

  29. Actually, for a 14 year-old, “Fred” has made some pretty decent money.

    We interviewed him over at NewTeeVee:

    http://newteevee.com/2008/06/25/fred-speaks-to-ntv-squeaky-voice-not-included/

    Rather than waiting for YouTube to monetize his work, Fred got a manager and they monetized it on their own.

    Fred got a five figure deal with Zipit to do three “viral” vids. There were performance benchmarks bonuses built into the deal for 1 million, 1.5 million, etc. plays. He beat all of those benchmarks in a week.

    Fred’s launching his own URL this month where he’ll offer merchandise and further monetize the character. Plus, he’s had meetings with execs at Fox and Disney.

    He’s not simply entertaining, the kid’s got a plan, and it’s working out pretty well.

  30. Nice post Scoble. I’m extra encouraged to post a comment today because I just finished reading your book Naked Conversations.

    Online video will need a way to monetize viral videos that spread very fast usually without knowing the viral effect will occur. TV has it easy (or at least it used to), show the content to the advertisers, get sponsorship deals lined up in the spring and summer, air the shows in the fall, and everybody wins (except most of the advertisers of course because TV advertising isn’t effective, measurable, provides a poor ROI, etc.).

    New systems will need to be put in place, I do see big potential in creative overlay ads at the bottom of the video screen, but scaling advertising inventory to match content inventory is something that needs to be more closely looked at. Especially with the Web getting more connected, social, interactive, collaborative, and community driven by passionate individuals.

    I’m personally obsessed with online video, and love working with new media models in the emerging Web 2.0 jungle.

  31. Nice post Scoble. I’m extra encouraged to post a comment today because I just finished reading your book Naked Conversations.

    Online video will need a way to monetize viral videos that spread very fast usually without knowing the viral effect will occur. TV has it easy (or at least it used to), show the content to the advertisers, get sponsorship deals lined up in the spring and summer, air the shows in the fall, and everybody wins (except most of the advertisers of course because TV advertising isn’t effective, measurable, provides a poor ROI, etc.).

    New systems will need to be put in place, I do see big potential in creative overlay ads at the bottom of the video screen, but scaling advertising inventory to match content inventory is something that needs to be more closely looked at. Especially with the Web getting more connected, social, interactive, collaborative, and community driven by passionate individuals.

    I’m personally obsessed with online video, and love working with new media models in the emerging Web 2.0 jungle.

Comments are closed.